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Tony Grist

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Scary? [Aug. 1st, 2004|10:16 am]
Tony Grist
MGM have released three "lost" Bergman movies on DVD. They've been available in the States, but not over here and I've been fretting over it. I'm a Bergman completist; I love even his fuck-ups.

Our copies arrived in the post yesterday and we immediately settled down to watch Hour of the Wolf. It's not a fuck-up, but it's not one of his best. The demons are fine so long as you're not quite sure whether they're real people or not, but once they start walking on the ceiling and drawing blood they dwindle into famous monsters of filmland.

I guess we're all phobic about different things. Some people are scared of blood. They must be, or there wouldn't be so much of it in horror movies. I'm not. When the lift doors open in the Shining and a tidal wave of the stuff comes roaring into the lobby I'm going, ho-hum- red stuff; not scary. It's physical, see- and while I'd rather not be maimed, the threat of physical violence isn't as deliciously scary as the threat of spiritual violence. A corporeal monster is just a thug in novelty make-up.

Keep it metaphysical and you've got me. Keep it mocking and taunting and needling and demanding. Bergman's best demons are the ones in Cries and Whispers and Fanny and Alexander. They're sad, lost ghosts. They can't do any physical damage, but they've no business being there. They threaten the collapse of our "reality" into a parallel universe where anything can happen.

[User Picture]From: beentothemoon
2004-08-01 02:15 pm (UTC)
Spiritual violence and danger is much more of a turn-on than physical danger for me. While being beaten over the head with my own severed leg isn't the way I'd personally like to while away a Sunday afternoon, watching it isn't frightening in the least. My body at least, I know is temporary and that there must eventually be an end to corporeal pain. I pass out when I'm in pain much stronger than a stubbed toe, and for that I am thankful. I have a sneaking suspicion however that my soul may be eternal, at least in some sense and that means in theory it could tormented without end. The prospect of eternal spiritual torment is then, for me, Sexy and Scary.

It's a wonder I don't date more Catholics.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-08-01 03:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have the same suspicion.

When I was a kid I had a craving for ghost stories. They frightened me very, very much and kept me awake at night, but I still went out and bought them. I was an addict. They were my porn. I don't scare so easy these days, but I still seek out that frisson of supernatural terror wherever I can find it.

The scariest movie I've seen recently is the Devil's Backbone. Do you know it?
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